The ATA has linked up with fellow industry body NatRoad in calling on the Federal Government to extend the Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s safety investigations to include heavy vehicle crashes.

The ATA and NatRoad have called for no-blame, independent road safety investigations in a joint submission to the Joint Select Committee Inquiry into Road Safety.

“This is a move that has already been recommended by both the independent review of the National Road Safety Strategy and by the Productivity Commission,” said ATA CEO Michael Deegan

“As an independent agency, the ATSB can provide valuable insights that can reduce the risk of future accidents and incidents when implemented by industry and government,” he said.

NatRoad CEO Warren Clark said the submission raised key priorities that should be fast tracked, especially infrastructure improvements that will improve on-road safety.

“Road conditions are a causation factor in about 30 per cent of all crashes and is a factor in the severity of 100 per cent of crashes,” Mr Clark said.

“Road projects that minimise safety risks, upgrade unsafe roads and address gaps in the quality of the road network must be prioritised,” he said.

Mr Deegan said safety is not sufficiently prioritised in road spending.

“In 2019 Austroads released new truck rest area guidelines, but they are not linked to funding decisions,” Mr Deegan said.

“All infrastructure funding projects should be required to apply the Austroads rest area guidelines to the planning, design, and delivery of road infrastructure.

“The ATA and NatRoad call for transport ministers to agree as soon as possible that the Austroads guidance on this subject should be mandated in new and upgraded road funding proposals,” he said.

Mr Clark said the submission’s recommendation support Vision Zero and the Australian Government’s ambition to eliminate road crash fatalities by 2050.

“Taking a safety-focused approach to road infrastructure development will build a solid foundation for achieving Vision Zero and saving Australian lives,” he said.

Read the submission